January 9, 2009
One of the best things about Buffy was its writing and especially Marti Noxon, who has gone on to write for real television.
Marti wrote some of my favourite bits including this exchange between Oz and Willow from What’s my line (part two) in Season Two (episode eight/nine):
Oz: (pulls out a cookie and stops) Oh, look! Monkey! And he has a little hat. And little pants.
Willow: (smiles) Yeah, I-I see!
Oz: The monkey’s the only cookie animal that gets to wear clothes, you know that?
Willow smiles brightly.
Oz: You have the sweetest smile I’ve ever seen.
Willow is surprised by the compliment.
Oz: (continues down the hall) So, I’m wondering, do the other cookie animals feel sorta ripped? Like, is the hippo going, ‘Hey, man, where are *my* pants? I have my hippo dignity!’
Oz: And you know the monkey’s just, (with a French accent) ‘I mock you with my monkey pants!’
Willow laughs more.
Oz: And there’s a big coup in the zoo.
Willow: The monkey is French?
Oz: All monkeys are French. You didn’t know that?
which is, let’s face it, a great piece of writing.
But then, in Surprise (Season Two, episode 13)we get this follow up in a dream sequence (the ‘she’ in the directions is Buffy):
She finds Willow sitting at a table with a large cup of cappuccino and an organ grinder’s monkey.
Willow: (to the monkey) L’hippo a pique’ ses pantalons.
Translation: The hippo stole his pants.
The monkey on the table with her squeaks. Buffy walks up to the table and looks at Willow curiously. Willow smiles at her and waves. Buffy raises her hand back, but remains confused about the monkey.
Which is just … gorgeous.
Just thought I’d share. I miss Buffy. Damn you (yet again) Fox.
Hat tip: The Grr in Girl website
And for bonus Buffy goodness, check this page out: The unaired Buffy pilot. I particularly like the quote from the interview with Joss:
Q: Is the presentation ever going to make it to DVD?
A: Not while there is strength in these bones.
but the best part is the screen shot of the pre-Alyson Willow. Reason enough to keep it hidden I say. Not the actress – just her lack of being Alyson.
November 10, 2008
I have high hopes for Joss Whedon‘s new series.
Despite being on Fox, the network that hunted down and destroyed Firefly (for which I’ll not easily forgive them), Joss has gone back to them with his new show – I like to think of it as Joe 90 meets Alias.
Eliza Dushku, Faith in Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, gets to play a secret agent type whose mind is wiped after each mission. I always did say debriefings go so much better when you’re the sole survivor and frankly if you can remove even your own jaded history it’s that much smoother again.
But then came the news that Fox had decided it didn’t really like the pilot episode (oh-oh) and that a new one would be needed (deja vu all over again).
Finally we get to see a trailer:
and in true Fox tradition, they immediately announce the show will air not on the Monday night slot it originally promised (where people would actually see it) but on the Friday night Death to the Show we Don’t Understand slot.
The full list of DTTSWDU precedents is found here:
The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. (1993)
Strange Luck (1995)
The Visitor (1997)
Harsh Realm (1999)
Dark Angel (2000)
The Lone Gunmen (2001)
John Doe (2003)
Firefly (2003) (hattip: Ain’t It Cool).
In fact, the only show to do well in that slot was the X-Files and that was a hundred years ago.
So, good luck to you Joss. I’ll watch the show. I might even love the show. But I won’t expect to see a second series and I imagine I’ll be watching most of it on DVD.
October 23, 2008
Alyson Hannigan and Alexis Denisof are up the duff.
Now if this was an episode of Buffy the baby would be part demonic, there would be an etheral component (I’m thinking otherworldly lights, a pentagram of some kind, drippy candles) and probably a kidnapping by evil forces (a coven of hags drooling over the little pink cheery tubby baby).
It would end well but you’d be left with a sneaking suspicion that Dawn was deeply jealous, that a rift between Buffy and Willow was being forced ever wider, that Giles was actually rather good with children and that Xander and Anya’s comic moment (when Anya was forced to discuss demonic diapers) points to Bigger Issues.
Or I could be projecting. Either way, happy news.
August 4, 2008
Buffy rules, and not because it’s about vampires and the sex and the sex with the vampires, although clearly that’s a selling point.
No, Buffy rules because of the writing. It’s funny, laugh.
Which is why I present you with Buffy: The Animated Series. Never made, so here’s the first episode.
November 20, 2007
Following on from thinking about putting TV on the internet and how to do it properly, I’ve been wondering about how to continue with Firefly as a TV show.
There is a problem, however.
No, I’m not talking about Fox’s ownership of it, or the problem of rebuilding the creative team both behind the camera and in front… not insurmountable I feel. No, the problem is Serenity.
Serenity the movie is, in essence, season two of Firefly condensed into a two hour epic. I loved Serenity, don’t get me wrong, but it does tend to act as a full stop on any plans for season two.
Whedon hasn’t let that stop him with Buffy, of course… the new Buffy episodes are in comic book form rather than TV and a different medium means a different look and feel. For a start off, there’s no Alyson Hannigan, which is a crime against humanity, but then there’s the physical limits of what you can do (TV = limited, comics = unlimited) and that’s changing the way the story’s told and, just as importantly, the story itself.
But it means there’s a precedent for continuing with a universe in a different medium.
So, what to do about season two?
There are a couple of options. First, we can ignore Serenity entirely and start over. This is appealing on at least one level because we can find out more about Book’s backstory, and that appeals to me no end. But it’s not like we’re going to be surprised by anything that happens and that’s a bit tricky for a full season.
Or, we can carry on from the end of Serenity… but that means no Book backstory and no Wash and that’s just horrible to contemplate. Not impossible (this is a Whedon universe after all. People die) but horrible. That would work.
Or there’s a third choice – set season two with whichever actors want to return to the show and set it some decade later… things have moved on, people have changed, the universe is basically the same but has also turned. There are new challenges and new issues…
That’s probably got my vote. I’d like to see that. I’d like to know what Zoe’s kid is like (of course she’s pregnant). I’d like to know what happens to Jane and to Badger and to all of them.
Or am I barking mad? Hey, someone call Joss and see if he can fit it in. He’s used to multi-tasking.
November 1, 2007
For those that don’t know, Joss Whedon (not Joe Sweden but that’s also a cool name) is the writer/producer/thinker upper behind Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and my all-time favourite show-that-should-have-been Firefly.
Firefly is a hard one to explain to folk who’ve never seen it. To really appreciate the full pathos of the decision to cancel Firefly after only one season you have to really be a Buffy fan. Buffy fans know that the first season of Buffy was OK. The second season was better by far and that used up all the available storylines associated with the original pitch and the writers had to say “OK, what happens next” and that’s when the magic really started. Because they can write, and they care and they can make you laugh and make you really get angry with them and shake the TV set like a dog.
So anyone who knew that, and knew that season three of Buffy ROCKED and that season four was well cool and season five owned the world and that six and seven were fabulous and that the last episode was exactly right, knew that once the initial storyline of Firefly (psycho girl in box wakes up, kicks people a lot, re-writes history) was all done, we’d get on to the really cool stuff. The stuff they didn’t think too much about in the early episodes. Where does Book come from? What is that thing that looks like a suicide kit but isn’t that Inara takes out at one point. Will Wash ever knock up Zoe and how will she cope with that.
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Sorry… slipped into an alternate universe there for a moment (or is it… Firefly is the spiritual successor to Blade Runner: discuss).
Instead we got ripped off. Totally. Damn you Fox, if you’re not already doomed.
There is good news though – Whedon has signed on to write/direct/produce/think up stuff for a new TV show: Dollhouse. Here’s a link to the interview. Fox, don’t fuck this one up, OK? Or we’ll come round and whup you upside the head with a cluestick.